What to do…not recovering fully…

Last night our “walk to run” group warmed up with 5 minutes of walking and did 1-1 “1 walk, 1 run..ok…65-55 seconds really” and finished 3 miles in 41:30. Yeah, that is slow by runner’s standards, but better than some of the pace groups that are supposed to be faster than ours. :-) And our group is getting better.

That was easy for me (I had 6 miles earlier that morning for my own workout). But this morning: my legs were still slightly achy and heavy. So I warmed up with 1 mile of walking and then jogged oh…let’s see: about 5.2 miles in..a ghastly 58 minutes.

3 loops plus

That was 11:15 mpm for a hilly course…right at what my recovery pace is “supposed to be”. Reading that makes me feel sick.

Still, that is one thing I am going to have to accept: do distance and my 5K will suffer and do the 5K and forget about the very long distances. What’s it going to be?

The positive: it was a glorious, chilly and sunny morning.
And I had enough left in the tank to get some weights afterward:

5 sets of 10 pull ups (4 around rotator cuff exercises and the final one after bench.
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 180 (strong, but didn’t push), 5 x 170, 8 x 160 (rotator cuff)
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell standing
super set: rows (3 sets of 10 with 110) and pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 150 (double pulley machine)

May 1, 2015 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Some metrics on fitness

In September of 1999 (at 40 years of age): half marathon in 1:34:16 (7:11 pace), then the first 20 miles of the Quad Cities in 2:37 (7:51 pace; crashed and finished in 3:45…bad cramps).

Today: ONE mile at 7:50 was, while not all out, challenging. I did hit the halves in 3:55 each. Yes, I did this right after lifting weights and that had a minor negative effect.

In September of 1986 (27 years of age): in the bench press I got 11 reps with bodyweight (230 lbs). Today: 3 reps (3 x 180); probably could have gotten 1 more had I used a spotter. I weighed 180.0 on the gym scale prior to the workout.

15 years and 28 years can make a difference in what one can do. At times, it feels as if someone stuck a straw under my skin and sucked all of the muscle mass right out.

Nevertheless, I have some goals set up. One will be to walk the Peoria Marathon this October. The next (tentative) will be the McNotAgain 30 mile (hilly, trail) about 3-4 weeks later. And for the final..stay tuned. :-) I might try to combine a longish (marathon or possibly longer) event with a football game over the winter..somewhere south. So, I need to build up my long walks this summer; I am at 14 miles (22.5 km) right now.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Mixing it up

Weights plus a run…of sorts. It was very rainy outside.

Weight: 180.0 on the gym scale.

Weights: pull ups (3 sets of 10) with rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 9 x 160 (rotator cuff)
incline: 10 x 135
pull ups: 2 sets of 10 mixed with
military press: 2 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell standing
super set: 3 sets of 10 x 130 pull down machine, 10 x 200 Hammer row, 10 x 100, 10 x 90 machine military

treadmill: 10:50 mile
track: 7:50 mile (3:55 each half)
treadmill: 10:40 mile
track: 8:53 mile (medium effort)
treadmill: run walk 11:30 cool down mile

It was enough to get some exercise but not so much that it drained me.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | Leave a comment

Some recovery…semester coming to an end

I am becoming ready for the semester to be over. Still: I have some interesting stuff to do.

Workout notes (38 F) Glacially slow, but steady 6.3 mile shuffle (tried to pick it up in the last mile); much better than last Thursday’s torture trudge though. Then weights:

super set of machine rows (3 sets 10 with 110), machine military (2 sets of 10 with 90 (each arm), 1 with 100), pull ups: 10-5-10-5-10

Then pull downs with rotator cuff (3 sets of 10 x 150, double pulley machine), pull ups 5-5 and then 5 more for 55 total.
bench press: 10 x 135, 10 x 155 (tough), 10 x 145 (more reasonable but not the joke that it should be).

I went to the ACLU banquet with Barbara and enjoyed all but the Q&A afterward (too long); over all, it was a good time.

April 24, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Kidney 5K (and more about racing while aging)

There were many races to choose from today, including a trail 5K, two 5K runs across the river and one with a 7:30 am start down by the River. I chose the latter as I could use my Riverplex locker and then lift afterward.

So, I used my locker and ran a mile on a treadmill and then jogged about 10 more minutes outside prior the race; walked about 1.2 miles afterward.

Time: 25:45 via 8:13, 8:22. 8:21, 0:48. 60 F with a very light breeze. Place: 9 out of 105 finishers and 2’nd in 50-59. The winning time was a pedestrian 21:15…no, this wasn’t a 100 degree day, no 10,000 feet altitude, not a trail, pancake flat. It was just that the running talent was very diluted.

Going in, I felt heavy legged….AGAIN. I am not recovering between workouts.

Prior to the start I talked to Christy Dillard who would normally finish ahead of me, but she was recovering from long pacing duties last weekend (at a hilly ultra). There weren’t many people and we got off and looped around the restaurant area, through construction sites. As we headed back the river was on our right.

I was locked with some short guy who was to fall back; I had my sights on several who were ahead of me. In mile 2 I felt a bit sluggish but I was working. As we exited the boat area I gave some thought to catching people ahead of me; I caught 3 and went after 2 more; one fit guy and one little kid. I didn’t get either of those two though I closed on the kid.

There were walkers still headed out and one group wanted to pose for a photo at mile 1…and looked as if they would block the course! Fortunately someone alerted them just in time before the kid and I got there; this was closing in on mile 3.

I couldn’t close the deal on the kid though; I still broke 26. Afterward, I walked to Hooters and back; then went to the place where the post-race event was taking place. I didn’t eat anything other than 2 apples and 1 banana as I wanted to lift weights. However, awards were taking forever so I left to lift at the Riverplex.

Weights: pull ups (4 sets of 10, 2 of 5); 4 sets of 10 superset with 3 sets of seated machine military (90 each arm)
bench: 3 sets of 10 x 135 (challenging)
rows: 3 sets of 10 (machine with 45). I also did the rotator cuff.

About the event itself: the run part was reasonably well organized; slightly late start but the course was well marked. It featured an interesting twist: we started out running TOWARD the restaurant area, looping around the restaurants (some construction which was coned off) then heading back up the river where we looped the Marina part. I liked the new twist; every mile (including mile 3) was marked.

The food afterward: fruit, eggs, biscuits, etc. was very good (I only ate the fruit).

But the awards didn’t start until well past 2 hours after the event started. So I left to lift weights afterward.

Overall, only the “awards” was problematic; I liked everything else about it.

The title: aging and running.
I knew that eventually, I would slow down. What I didn’t appreciate was this:

1. The body needs more rest between hard efforts, and the rest needs to be easier.
2. The body responds differently; it isn’t that I should do the same things, only scaled down. I need to do different things.
3. A workout that had worked for years might no longer be the best for me…AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE. I am still sorting things out. However, whatever I find that works now…might not work 2-3 years from now!
4. Performance: yes, every year there is variation in performance. But every time I have a few “slowish” races (slower than I did in the previous 2-3 years) I start to wonder: “is this because I’ve gotten older or because I am not recovering from my training?”

So I’ll write out the data so I can compare: yes, it appears as I am slower than I’ve been since 2011; however I’ll know more after the May races, which aren’t that far away.

7 March 24:42 for 2.87 miles (about 26:45 for 5K) (recent illness) 39 of 83 (college students)
21 March 25:27 for 5K 71 of 269
28 March 25:50 5K (26 F) 15 of 68
11 April: 26:14 5K (some hills) 42 of 153
18 April: 25:45 5K or 9 of 105

This is what last year looked like (through May). I am certainly slower but I am not as far along on training; last year I had more “hard miles” under my belt by this time.

31 May: Family House 5K 26:50 (fell down)
24 May: River Run 5K (certified) 24:42 5K
10 May: Race For the Cure 25:27 5K
3 May Run to Remember 24:17 5K .
26 April: 26:47 5K (Bradley soccer 5K)
19 April: 23:27 2.96 (24:40 5K, or 23:45 3 mile)
5 April 22:31 (2.8 miles) 25:05 5K
29 March CIDA 25:09 5K
1 March: 27:27 for 3.25 miles: 26:10 5K.

5K (or close)

2012 2013
25:47 Yates City. 26:05 Yates City
25:42 Brimfield: 7:56, 8:10, 8:44, 0:51
27:59 Aug. 5: Math Fest 5K 26:56 Rocket Run July 20: 8:27, 8:42, 9:46
26:07 Run for the Health of it July 14 8:28 8:49, 8:49 (AG) 26:32 5K run for the health of it July 13 (AG) 8:03, 8:02, 10:26
27:46 July 4 Firecracker 8:09 8:43 10:53 27:40 July 4 Firecracker
25:03 May 26 River Run 8:08, 8:07, 8:47 24:56 May 25 River Run
25:13 Race for the Cure May 12 (8:25, 7:34, 9:12) (AG) 25:48 Race for the Cure May 11
24:34 May 5 Run to Remember (7:54, 7:45, 8:54) 26:12 (3.18?) May 4: Sam Fan 5K
25:41 Bradley U. April 28 25:29 (hilly) 20 April: BU women soccer 5K
25:14 CIDA March 31 (8:27, 8:17, 8:29) (AG) 25:14 March 23: New Interplanetary 5K
25:08 Interplanatary March 24 (8:14, 8:19, 8:34) (AG) 27:04 (3.25?) 2 March: 5K Jack Kenney (AG)

April 18, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | , | 1 Comment

I am not a runner, not a walker, not a lifter, not a swimmer…certainly not an ultra marathoner…

And I am ok with that.

My current “physical activity” routine:
M, F: swim (2200 yards, or 2000 meters)
Tu, Th: run (about 10K each) and lift weights (40 minutes to 1 hour)
W: walk (about 8-10K)
Sat: run (10K or a 5K race); sometimes lift afterward.
Sun: walk (10 miles to half marathon at the moment; longer walks are planned in the near future)

So, I do a little of several things but not enough of any activity to get reasonably good at it.

As far as the ultras go: I have friends who continue to do these. Personally: I like to think that I paid a visit to these activities starting with a 50K in 2002; I probably peaked in 2005 (two 100 mile finishes) and slid downward pretty severely in 2006 and have pretty much flopped since then. I did have one more 100 mile finish in me (2009; severe mud; took me almost 48 hours) and a 50 miler in 2011 (at a 24 hour race).

I am not really an ultra athlete; I “visited” that sport and eventually became too weak to pursue it further, save a 30 miler here or there. My goal is ONE marathon (or longer) per year; 2012 I had a bad walking marathon finish, 2013 a bad “walk/jog” marathon finish and a bad 30 mile finish last year. But I’ve kept the streak alive since 1998.

Anyway, about my physical activities:

1) I enjoy them.
2) I am staying out of the doctor’s office
3) I still enjoy testing myself in events lasting 7 minutes to just over 2 hours (my half marathon these-a-days; I have NOT run a half marathon faster than 2 hours since…my goodness, 2003? My last “good” half (sub 1:45) was in 2002 (a couple of them) and my last sub 1:40 was in 2001.

I won’t kid you: I was never good at any sport, but right now, I really don’t have a “primary” sport. What I do is I go through cycles when I emphasize one goal or another; my guess is that I’ll aim for a marathon walk in October and therefore move to doing more walking..sometime this summer. But most of the time, I have a “generic, a little of everything” routine.

April 17, 2015 Posted by | running, swimming, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Where liberals and social conservatives agree

Workout notes: high 40’s; ran to Bradley park and down the hill; the lower loop in 10:06 (can’t quite get under 10), then 5 x Dog Park hill, 1 x upper Bradley Park hill and back; about 10K worth of running. I ran the hills hard enough to have to walk/shuffle the recoveries.

Weights: very little rest; circuits: pull ups, pull downs (Machine), rows, military press machine: 10 x 130 pull downs, 10 x 110 rows, 10 x 90 (each arm) military, 10, 10, 5, 5 pull ups
then rotator cuff, 10 pull ups, 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell bench, 2 sets of 5 pull ups, 10 x 135 incline.

This routine took just under 40 minutes.

Well, you have conservatives (Louie Gohmert) and liberals complaining because religions are attacked for believing …dumb things?

Uh, sorry, saying that idea X has no merit and, in fact, is dumb…doesn’t make one a bigot even if you think that it does.

Here is Numbers 22: 21-39

Balaam’s Donkey
21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

So, you expect us to believe that there were talking donkeys that can see supernatural beings? :-)

April 14, 2015 Posted by | religion, running, social/political, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Math, abs and bench presses

Workout notes Weights first, then running.
Weights: pull ups: 10-10-10-10 (rotator cuff)
Bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 190, 1 x 180, 6 x 160 (got a spotter for 190) rotator cuff.
pull ups: 10
military (barbell); 10 x 85, 10 x 80, 10 x 80
superset with pull downs: 3 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low
rows: 3 sets of 10 with 110 (different machines and grips)

Then to the treadmill: I used on treadmill to warm up 32 minutes for 3 miles
second treadmill (passed on trying a mile): I played around with hills 1 to 2 minute intervals, 0-.5-1-2-3, etc. 32 minutes for 3 more.
It was warm in Markin and I didn’t want to overexert today.

This whole workout took just under 2 hours.

My former Congressman (from 2008 to 2012, when I was in IL-18) works out a lot and now is in a heap of trouble. Aaron Schock resigned and now is being investigated by Federal Prosecutors; his case is in front of a Grand Jury. Note: it is the Republicans that went after him.

Mathematics I worked on some…and was anguished at the elementary mistakes I made. Now if you want to see some of what world class mathematicians work on, read this. This is a “Scientific American” caliber article which shows how some work in algebra and number theory relates to string theory. The article isn’t technical but gives a flavor of what is going on.

April 10, 2015 Posted by | Aaron Schock, IL-18, mathematics, Peoria/local, politics/social, weight training | Leave a comment

Somewhat recovered

It was slightly slick outside and foggy so that, plus my legs brought me to workout inside.
Run: treadmill: 2 miles 21:20
Track (middle lane): 7:49 (3:55/3:53)
4 lap walk, 4 lap jog (1 mile)
2.25 treadmill (2 in 20:20)

Weights (had to change my shirt; too sweaty):
pull ups: 15-10-10-10-(5-5) changed grip on the last set. rotator cuff recoveries.
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 180 (ok), 6 x 160 (weak)
incline: 10 x 135

military: 2 sets of 10 x 40 standing (dumbbells, each arm)
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 160 (traditional)

Superset: 3 sets of 10 x 110 row, with 10 x 90 (each arm) military, 10 x 130 pull down in between.

This wasn’t my toughest workout ever, but was good enough and I got in at least a little bit of “less glacial” running.

I spent the academic morning writing about Cantor sets and spaces, under the guise of \Pi_{i=1}^{\infty} \{0, 1 \}_i

April 8, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

Japanese fighter pilots, Buffett’s mobile homes, desired failure and welfare steaks…

Workout notes
Weight in the morning: 185 (after breakfast).
Now I went to the Riverplex and ran to Wodruff (via the goose loop), 1 mile 7:51 (3:57 for 809, 3:54 for second 800), 3/4 mile walk, 9:22 mile in lane 2. (about a 9:14 mile), then 2.2 miles back for 7 miles total.
Very humbling; though the mile wasn’t all out, it was hard and I put forth quite a bit of effort.

Then to the weight room:
pull ups (5 sets of 10, rotator cuff)
military presses (10 x 85 standing, 8 x 85, 10 x 180 seated, machine).
incline presses: 2 x 135, 10 x 115 (different angle)

This was about 30 minutes worth.

That was humbling. Was it only 15 years ago that I ran a half marathon at 7:17 per mile? Now ONE sub 8 minute mile is difficult. I want to scream “what am I doing wrong?
The idea that I am merely slowing the rate of decline instead of improving is still tough to adjust to.


Well, Warren Buffett is one of those “favorite billionaires”. But he is still a billionaire and how does one become one? Of course, I don’t know how involved he is with the details of this operation and I don’t have a balanced view. And, well, no easy way to say it…I am not exactly a fan of those hurt by these policies. But people don’t deserve to be mistreated and cheated (even if legally cheated), even if I might not like them.

SNAP Yes, I approve of this program, knowing that here and there, a slacker might be taking advantage. So on this debate:

n 2013, Fox News proudly broadcast an interview with a young food stamp recipient who claimed to be using the government benefit to purchase lobster and sushi.

“This is the way I want to live and I don’t really see anything changing,” Jason Greenslate explained to Fox. “It’s free food; it’s awesome.”

That story fit a longtime conservative suspicion that poor people use food stamps to purchase luxury items. Now, a Republican state lawmaker in Missouri is pushing for legislation that would stop people like Greenslate and severely limit what food stamp recipients can buy. The bill being proposed would ban the purchase with food stamps of “cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood or steak.”

“The intention of the bill is to get the food stamp program back to its original intent, which is nutrition assistance,” said Rick Brattin, the representative who is sponsoring the proposed legislation. […}

On one hand, yes, SNAP is to help people out with the basics and, no I don’t want to see it used for luxury items. But, on the other hand: how often does that happen? Do you see poor people buying caviar?
Seriously, saying “I was this a couple of times” doesn’t justify changing the law; I’d like to see some data as to how often it is abused prior to seeing the time and effort being put toward a change in the law.

More Republicans: evidently, some are actually upset that Ben Bernanke took steps to prevent a failure that they predicted:

Ah: I see that there was a Twitter exchange among Brad DeLong, James Pethokoukis, and others over why Republicans don’t acknowledge that Ben Bernanke helped the economy, and claim credit. Pethokoukis — who presumably gets to talk to quite a few Republicans from his perch at AEI — offers a fairly amazing explanation:

B/c many view BB as enabling Obama’s spending and artificially propping up debt-heavy economy in need of Mellon-esque liquidation

Yep: that dastardly Bernanke was preventing us from having a financial crisis, curse him.

Actually, there’s a lot of evidence that this was an important part of the story. As I pointed out a couple of months ago, Paul Ryan and John Taylor went all-out conspiracy theory on the Bernanke Fed, claiming that its efforts were not about trying to fulfill its mandate, but rather that

This looks an awful lot like an attempt to bail out fiscal policy, and such attempts call the Fed’s independence into question.

Basically, leading Republicans didn’t just expect a disaster, they wanted one — and they were furious at Bernanke for, as they saw it, heading off the crisis they hoped to see. It’s a pretty awesome position to take. But it makes a lot of sense when you consider where these people were coming from.

Krugman goes on to say that this doesn’t exactly instill confidence that the Republicans will do what is best for the country, with regards to the proposed Iran deal.

A former Japanese fighter pilot recalls the hell of war and explains why he never wants to see it again:

“Nothing is as terrifying as war,” he began, before spending the next 90 minutes recounting his role in battles, from Japan’s early triumph at Pearl Harbor to its disastrous reversals at Midway and Guadalcanal. “I want to tell you my experiences in war so that younger generations don’t have to go through the same horrors that I did.”


In an interview after his speech, Mr. Harada described himself as “the last Zero fighter,” or at least the last pilot still alive who flew during that aircraft’s glory days early in the war with the United States. He recounted how in dogfights, he flew close enough to his opponents to see the terror on their faces as he sent them crashing to their deaths.

“I fought the war from the cockpit of a Zero, and can still remember the faces of those I killed,” said Mr. Harada, who said he was able to meet and befriend some of his foes who survived the war. “They were fathers and sons, too. I didn’t hate them or even know them.”

“That is how war robs you of your humanity,” he added, “by putting you in a situation where you must either kill perfect strangers or be killed by them.”

This is a very powerful article about someone who has been there.

Science Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg lists his “best 13 science books” for the layperson; I have read one of these and much (most?) of two others.

April 4, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics, running, social/political, time trial/ race, weight training | , , , , | Leave a comment


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